I’m very much a spontaneous kind of spell caster. I rarely plan out full rituals, but when I do, prep is an important step.
One of the steps that’s easy to forget to do is eating before the ritual. Truthfully, if you’re going to be using your own energy for a ritual (rather than channeling fully from elsewhere) you should be eating something both before and after the ritual. So you have a lot of energy to start with and to restore the energy you consumed during the ritual.
So an hour or so before the ritual, these are what I reach for:
Fresh fruit, such as strawberries, apples, oranges, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranates, and grapes
Fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes (yes, yes technically a fruit), carrots, broccoli, radishes, and celery.
Fresh salad, usually with lots of variation but not as much salad dressing, cheese, meat, or croutons as I might normally like.
Seeds and nuts, like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, honeyed peanuts. I try to keep the amount I eat on the smaller side here, as sometimes too many nuts and seeds can feel heavy.
A small sandwich or wrap, heavily on the vegetables and flavors. Think afternoon tea sandwich size.
Fruit juice, often watered down
Sweet alcohol, fruit-based alcohol
Wine or harsher spirits. I usually go with this when I need to jump directly into some sort of alternative stage of consciousness or drop inhibitions (ie feeling self-conscious) as quickly as possible.
As you can see, I tend to reach for fresh foods before a ritual, usually light on meat and bread. I’m not particular when it comes to my diet – the only thing I really steer away from is organ meat and diary – but I like to go with a light meal usually paired with tea or sweet alcohol before a ritual.
I find this helps keep the energy up and still allows me to move freely during a ritual – very important with how I tend to cast rituals – and not weigh me down. They also can usually be consumed while I go over my ritual notes or do other prep work before the ritual.
This isn’t to say that you MUST eat one of these foods before a ritual. It really does depend on a person and their personal taste. Let your body guide you to the best choices for you.
It should be noted that, for some rituals, I will intentionally skip this step. I won’t eat before vigils for example where I need to do a lot of spirit work and often do trances during that time. I will often skip food beforehand when I perform oracles or medium work. I personally find that I work better that way, but it’s not something I recommend without knowing exactly how to fast safely.
That being said, I do recommend to try and ensure that you’re taking care of yourself before your rituals as much as afterwards and consider trying different food combinations to see what gives you the best results with your magical and spiritual work.
Have you ever heard of the ritualized idea that what you do on the first day of the new year will continue on for the rest of the year? If you spend a lot of January first sleeping or arguing, the rest of the year will contain that.
I first heard of this from my friend Ginandjack. Eventually, I changed the tradition to a week long ritual of sorts. I LOVE the concept of it and I find that it really does work. Here’s my eight day long ritualized tradition.
December 31st, Day of Regret
Do things I don’t want to do in the new year but absolutely must get done.
Reflect and journal as needed
Divination for lessons learned, if needed
Clean the entire house
Settle debts, return borrowed things, lend things out as needed.
Schedule or pay bills early if possible
Contact people I want to see LESS of next year
Do only the things that you want to spend most of the year doing.
Life a healthy lifestyle.
Do things that I want to encourage more of moving forward
Do not spend money (unless something MUST be paid for today and cannot be paid for earlier)
Eat foods that are considered good luck such as long noodles, circular foods, and so on.
Avoid doing chores such as laundry, dishes, and so on (unless necessary)
The first “random” song I hear during the New Year (ie, not one I know is coming or expect during New Year celebrations) can be taken as a prophecy.
The second song I hear should be one I choose that I want to be thematic for the upcoming year.
Divination is king
Visit or talk to people I want to see more of. (Sometimes I’ll bring food or salt with me as a New Year’s Luck Gift)
Nothing leaves the house (items)
Do not lend or borrow anything out.
No tears or you may cry for the rest of the year.
Wake up and get moving early (for me) in the morning.
Watch the sunrise
See midnight in my region
Start routines I want to continue
Pay bills or schedule bills
Buy things I want to spend money on this year (vegetables or fruit are a great example), if I want to or need to. I prefer to try going to entire week without spending any extra money, but that’s just me.
Accomplish tasks I want to do more of, but don’t necessarily feel are as important as the things I wanted to do yesterday. An example might be I read a book yesterday and watched TV today)
Continue what I’ve already started
Keep doing tasks I want to do more of during the year, but didn’t get to the days before.
Hop back on the bandwagon for things I intend to do everyday or on a schedule but already missed a day.
Remember to live my best and most healthy for me lifestyle
Obviously, this is a lot to observe and some of it requires prep. For example, if I intend to do New Year’s visits and bring gifts, I will actually prep them on the 31st and leave them in my vehicle or put them in a gift bag which clearly indicates what it’s intended purpose is. All of those items are things I won’t want back – like tupperware and so on.
I have noticed that the order in which I do things matter. For example, one year I decided to wait until the fifth day of the year to pay all my bills (my bills are all due at the middle or end of the month). For the rest of the year, I almost never paid the bills earlier than the fifth and a few times only just remembered to pay them before the due date. I normally always pay them on the second, so this was an odd change for me. The next year I switched back to paying them on the second and the other eleven months followed suit.
I also like to make sure I’m making changes from my previous routine if I decide I don’t like that routine. A good example would be changing to “work from home” clothes rather than just straight up pajamas or wearing the kind of style that you prefer rather than what’s “easier” (like you prefer cottage core but your easier style is sweat and a tee).
There are, of course, some things that I’d like to do more of but can’t. Swimming is one of my most favorite things in the world to do. However, I don’t have access to a pool in the colder months so I sometimes but on a bathing suit and listen to a water based soundscape for a while or I’ll take an extra long bath. If it’s warm enough, I’ll even drive to a beach and stick my feet into the freezing water.
(Did you know Rhode Island, where I’m from, does a polar plunge each year? A polar plunge which is when people go for a swim on the first of the year. Spending the first of the year on a beach is always nice. It’s a life goal to participate in that one day).
I know a lot of people do the first day of the year thing, but I like to extend it for the full week, to get any new routines off to a good start. Plus, then there isn’t as much guilt if you skip something due to lack of time or energy or whatever.
Anyway, that’s what I like to do during the first week of a new year. I find the tradition does tend to represent the rest of the year, but maybe that’s just me. What do you all think?
Around late August of 2015 I started mentioning “Secret Future Plan” (SFP) on my personal twitter. SFP actually started a month earlier when, while kayaking with my mother, she mentioned that we could probably sell our house and get something more suitable to us.
When we moved into the Crossroads House 17 years ago, we had a lot of requirements (school districts, handicapped accessibility for my grandmother, spaces for everyone to keep out of each other’s way with our very busy lives). It’s a great house, but it no longer suited us so we decided to sell.
In order for us to sell the Crossroads House, we had to do some patch up. You know that to-do list of stuff you’ve been meaning to get to but never do? We had to actually go through that list and do it, plus have all of our financial ducks in a row. We took two years to get the house ready to sell. Painting and updating and so on takes both time and money, so we didn’t rush it.
Over the last three years, the Crossroad House has been on the market. We’ve gotten lots of offers, but usually they weren’t the right kinds of offers. We even had the house sold at one point, but something fell through in the final weeks of the sale. We took it off during the holidays too, since we didn’t want to fuss with that. Why it took so long to sell is easy – it’s a weird house. It has four bedrooms, but they’re all in different parts of the house. One bedroom is the whole second floor, what was once an attic. My bedroom and a second kitchen is in the basement. The other two bedrooms are on the main (first) floor, but are on opposite ends of the house, connected by the double parlor. The doors to the basement, that floor’s bathroom, the attic bedroom, and the backyard all connected in the small main level’s kitchen. All within walking distance to an elementary school, middle school, and the town’s high school. It’s a great house and way more spacious that it looked from the outside, but it’s not great for a family with little kids. It’s definitely more suited to teenagers or adults.
In 2019, as mentioned, we had the house sold. Then two weeks from closing, the sale fell through. We were absolutely crushed. We had already rented a new house to move into and had started packing. Literally the only thing that cheered us up was that Halloween was around the corner and I could go all out with decorating like I usually do.
We knew the next year, this year, was going to be it. Tons of little signs, included the tragic death of one of our Halloween decoration dragons, told us as much.
Then spring 2020 hit. We put it back on the market in early February, but the COVID-19 pandemic started soon after. About a week and a half after everything started to shut down in my area, we get a call. The buyer had been watching for a while and wanted to see the house. We had stipulations, of course. Masks, gloves, don’t touch anything, etc. Then the state shut own and no one could travel in from another state. We had several other buyers after that, some even with offers, but none were really serious.
Then the new owners came in. They saw the newly uploaded 3D model of the house and wanted it before they even saw it in person. They love it that much! The closing was the end of July and we’re all so happy that the couple that bought it love the house and are looking forward to putting their own spin on the house.
Of course, moving isn’t just signing over a house. We had to pack 17 years worth of stuff – including thousands of books. We were already partially packed, honestly. We had decluttered for house showings. But there was still a ton of stuff to do. The week before closing my Mom and I WORKED. We put in fourteen hour days for an entire week during a heat wave carting out box after box after tote after boxe. We got rid of a lot of stuff and threw a spur-of-the-moment yard sale on two separate days. The day before last it was a hundred degrees with nearly matching humidity and we ran around donating various things and making an unplanned trip across the state to Connecticut where someone was willing to host our ladder and kayaks for a while. We’d carry boxes over to fill our condo’s living room only to come home and put it all away after a long day of working in the heat and sun, so the landscape of the condo was constantly changing. My brother and uncle were amazed. My cat Kiki was angry and spent much of the time I was home ignoring me. (She likes the new place, she just didn’t like that I wasn’t there.)
I’ll certainly miss the old house. It was spiritually quite wonderful and it had a ton of room for everybody to spread out in. There’s a lot of memories and a lot of things we’ll miss.
So what’s next?
Well, we’re taking a month or so off to just relax and unpack. We still have some boxes that need putting away or to be put into storage, Tetris style. After that, we’re onto new horizons. Our condo is a temporary location only. We have plans for after this, but I don’t want to talk too much about that right now.
How does this affect This Crooked Crown? Well, I think it’ll actually help. Having to be constantly cleaning or having my work routine interrupted to do house showings was a pain in the ass. I can mark, to the day, where my beautiful and productive work routine crashed into the house selling nonsense and shattered. I’ve spent three years working with half the energy I’d normally have. Now I don’t have to worry about that. I can go back to doing my own thing without needing to make the house look like a magazine shoot.
I’m going to take it slow and build up This Crooked Crown again. We were doing well and helping people before. I’d like to do so again. I have a lot of projects that I can get back to now and now I’ve the mental space and emotional energy to dedicate to thoughtful posts once again.
If you’d like to support the cause, you can drop a coin in the tip jar or become a patron. I’m slowly by surely moving my Etsy and Storenvy shops here, so if you bought something in those places and want to see it here, shoot me a message (form below) and I’ll see what I can do. Otherwise, wander around the shop section and see what I’ve got for sale. Readings, spells, and more. Physical items, like charms, will be added as I make them since I had to cut back on my creating while we were selling.
Anyway, it’s good to be back! Thanks for your patience and let’s try and make 2020 a little bit better, hm?
May your year be filled with glorious growth, spectacular successes, brilliant energies, great loves, few losses, and overflowing abundance!
Welcome to 2020! It’s great to be in a new year where you can give yourself a calendar-centric new page to your life.
As you can see above, my blessing for the year. Below, I’ll do a little introduction of myself (for new readers and old), a discussion of 2020’s goal and keywords, and then tackle my resolution. Not interested? That’s cool. Scroll to the end of this post for a spell to give your new year’s resolution a magical punch.
Me: I’m Samantha, also known as This Crooked Crown. You can call me Samantha, Sam, Crown, or any variation of that. Pronouns are she/her/hers or they/their/them. I’m a professional witch, tarot card reader, seer, spirit walker, and writer. I’m a published author with my novel Spirit Walker and I’ve been practicing witchcraft for twenty five years this year. I started when I was nine!
My magical practice: I am a non-traditional secular polytheist animist witch. My witchcraft is largely folk magic, drawing from folklore, superstitions, and Anglo-Saxon and New England coastline traditions. Spirits are my forte, especially the non-human kinds, but I’ve been a seer for as long as I can remember.
Where I’m from: I hail from Rhode Island in the New England East Coast of the USA and live in a quirky house between two crossroads and alongside a nicknamed The Crossroads House. I live with my mother, my uncle, my brother The Necromancer, my 12 year old Siamese cat named Kiki, and a 14 year old grumpy box turtle named Tama.
Fun facts & details: I’m a Gemini Sun, Gemini Moon, and Tiger. I’m aligned with water first and foremost. I’m a hermit, a major introvert, and have a few chronic and mental illnesses that are often debilitating. I love water, the ocean, reading, libraries, learning, writing, folklore, stories, and curling up in something soft and warm. Autumn is my favorite time of year, but I live for summers where I can swim and be on the water every day. I will always stop to pet any cat willing to approach me.
What I do & where to find me:Etsy, Storenvy, patreon, tumblr, instagram, twitter, pinterest, facebook, and here, of course. I blog about witchcraft and magic. I sell my books, spells, readings, and crafted witchy goods, plus I also teach witchcraft lessons. I try to be open-minded, willing to help, and approachable to all.
That’s me! How many of you older readers learned something new?
2020’s Goal & Keywords
It is beyond weird to type the year “2020”. When I was a kid, I never would have imagined that I’d reach such an age. It seemed so far away! So Jetsons. But then again, I’m terrible when it comes to numbers and time is something that makes sense to other people, not me. I kind of exist in a “time is irrelevant” sort of lifestyle. Which is very liberating and very confusing at the same time. I have to have a calendar notification for things like putting out the trash, so maybe this is just a side effect of working from home? Who knows!
This year’s goal is growth.
Let’s grow and change as people. Let’s grow our minds, our hearts, our spirits. Let’s grow compassion for ourselves and others. Let’s grow positive changes for the future. Let’s grow opportunities for ourselves. Let’s grow abundance and wealth and power. Let’s look back in a year and go ‘we got somewhere’.
2020’s keywords are Sanctuary and Luck.
This year, there should be a major focus on making somewhere in your life a sanctuary. Your home, your bedroom, the local library, your office at work, your favorite coffee shop, the beach. Make that place yours, as much as you’re able. Own it. Take responsibility for it.
If it’s a public space, like the beach or library, join community groups or clean the beach drives to make it the best it can be. If it’s a space you share with others, like the office or a coffee shop, make it yours by greeting people, talking to those who work there, setting up your table or desk just so. If a coffee shop is your place, maybe invest in a travel mug, so you can mentally align with the whole “I am here so often, I even have my own mug for here”. If it’s work, deck out your space as much as possible, with things that make you feel warm and safe and secure enough to do your job 100% every day.
At home should be your sanctuary, but it might not be for a variety of reasons. If possible, make sure your place reflects who you are exactly. You’re a person who changes each and every day so your home will change too! Maybe the paint on the walls isn’t working for you. Maybe it’s time to take down those band posters since you’re not really into them anymore. Maybe you got that leather couch because you have dogs, but you never sit in them because the couches are so cold to the touch. Invest in those warm blankets and throw pillows. Put a new color on the walls. Change the curtains or make a quilt. This place should reflect you, as much as you’re able to make it reflect you. It should feel like home.
Sanctuary is more than just “I am safe in this place”. It should also be a feeling of security. Secure enough to be yourself. Secure enough to be happy. Secure enough to be and fill the space. Banish that unwanted shit from your life. It’s time to let it go.
Some things are outside of your direct control. Money, for example, has a way of making people feel very insecure. If this is you, then maybe this year is the year to try and make yourself more secure financially. Start a savings account or talk to your college loans and see if they’re willing to smaller payments so you can have more financial breathing space.
Family and friends too, has a way of making people feel insecure. Some families and friends just aren’t good and some people are just plain toxic for you. We all have them. This may be the time to finally go through your contact lists and delete some people. Unfriend that obnoxious aunt on facebook and block uncle bigotry from your lift. Chances are you can live without contact them and any news they or you need to share can probably be passed through other members of the family. Dump the friend who only comes around when they need something. You’re not a doormat. Don’t make things difficult on yourself just because etiquette or peer pressures says you should. You should be able to cultivate a space space – a sanctuary – in your own personal network of people.
You may also want to take this year to make somewhere safe for someone else. There’s lot of hatred right now in the world. A lot of fear. Let’s make this year the year of open hearts and minds. A place where religion, gender, skin color, race, and sexual orientation is accepted and normalized. It’s not an easy road, but it’s one that needs to be walked.
Luck is also a keyword this year. To me, this screams that you just need to turn your magic all the way the fuck up. Just be that witch 100% of the time.
You don’t need to have a reason to cast a luck spell. Make it so when you wash your face, you’re washing away the bad luck. Brush your hair chanting good luck is coming your way. Cast luck spells for all the endeavors. Job interview? Luck spell. Date? Luck spell. Party? Luck spell. Going for a walk? Luck spell. Luck isn’t always about hitting the lottery. It can be lucky to find a pretty stone on a walk or catch up with an old friend at the grocery store.
More than that, it’s also a good time to consider doing spells to achieve your goals or at least a clear direction for what you want. Not all of us have big, splashy dreams. Some people feel lost because they don’t know what they want. When that happens, it can feel like everything you do has no purpose or isn’t going to lead you anywhere worthwhile. If you feel this way, then it may be time to do a spell to find your own way or a new dream or goal. Or get a divination reading. Or at least make some sort of goal, like exercising once a week or read five books a year. Those goals may seem tiny or insignificant compared to a goal of publishing a novel or getting a PhD or buying a house, but it’s still a goal. It can still be accomplished. And it may lead to a milestone goal, such as buying a house. When one is lost, even those small goals can be HUGE accomplishments. Take pride in the things you accomplish, no matter how small. Even teeny, tiny steps forward are still steps forward.
My 2020 Resolution: Finish It!
The goal of 2020 is growth and my resolution is similar. I want 2020 to be the year of growth, but I also want it to be the year of finishing stuff. I have so much in the works right now. SO MUCH. I have five finished books in various stages of editing or are just straight-up finished and sitting, forgotten on a virtual shelf. FIVE. I’m also working on an oracle deck, revamping my witchcraft courses, and more behind the scenes stuff.
This year is going to be the year that shit will be finished. That the projects already started are going to be finished. A lot of times, I start things and never finish them because of fear. Fear of imperfect. Fear of not including all the things that need to be said. Fear or mistakes or failure. ADHD, OCD, and anxiety play a lot into this, but mostly, it’s just the fear of not being good enough. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I can routinely push past that (after some procrastination, so it’s a work in progress thing).
BTW, that’s my suggestion for overcoming things. Spite and understanding in equal measures. Like, I understand why I leave things hanging and I also want to drop-kick that fear in the face. How dare it stop me? I’m going to prove that fear and myself wrong by… doing exactly what I need to do to spite it. My brain’s a fun place sometimes.
So year’s goals are all about growing and becoming, but it’s also about finishing and achieving. It’s going somewhere, it’s doing something, it’s getting shit done, but finishing what I’ve started.
I imagine some of you are in the same boat, so I invite you to join me on this little adventure. Let’s arm ourselves with a shield of spite and a sword of determination. Let’s wield the magics of getting shit done and I’ve got this. Let’s shout our war-cry of “fuck this shit!” Let’s defeat the hoards of haters and journey through the lands of self-doubt and fear, following the road paved with good intentions, to defeat the final boss known as the dreaded To Do List.
(Everything sounds more epic when you make it an adventure. Try it next time you go grocery shopping or to the gym. It can be a wild ride and shake up even the worst days. It’s like trying to say ‘bubbles’ in an angry voice. Impossible to stay in a bad mood and yet weirdly satisfying.)
Okay, if you skipped to the end, hi! If you read the whole post, then wow and thanks for reading my rambling! Either way, here’s your spell.
New Year’s Resolution Self-Dedication Spell
This spell’s intended goal is to turn your regular ol’ new year’s resolution into a magical dedication to yourself. A magical promise. Here’s what you’ll need.
An item you touch every single day (your phone, hair brush, keys, the fridge)
Citrus (an orange, for example)
Your new year’s resolution written on paper
Write down your new year’s resolution on a slip of paper.
Fill a jar or cup with water. Ideally, it should be solar water (water infused with a full day of sunshine), but it can be moon water or even just regular tap water.
Zest the orange into the water. If you have no idea what zesting is, I’ll explain. Essentially, you take your orange (or whatever citrus you’re using) and you take a knife or vegetable peeler, and you peel a sliver of the rind or skin of the citrus fruit. It doesn’t need to be a big or deep sliver. You’re aiming for the peel rather than the fruit or the membrane around the fruit (the white stuff in an orange), but if you get some of the fruit or membrane, that’s ok. I’d add seven pieces of zest to the water, but you can do as much or as little as you’d like. Alternatively, you can use a citrus extract, a citrus essence, or a citrus essential oil.
Now add the paper with your resolution into the water. Allow to sit, at least twenty minutes (for the year 2020). If you’re using this spell at any other time, I’d recommend seven hours, for luck. But you can leave it for any period of time that feels magically important to you.
While you wait, it’s time to consider a magical symbol. You can make a sigil from the new year’s resolution with any method you like. Or you can pick a magical symbol that holds importance to you (like a pentacle, arrow, cross, etc). You can also draw any symbol that represents your resolution, like a graduation cap for graduating college, a dumbbell for the gym, or a book for reading more. You could also just write out your new year’s resolution in words or even abbreviate it. Or you can mix and match the aforementioned ideas to come up with your own little symbol.
You may also want to take this time to lightly cleanse the object you’re enchanting. Not enough of a cleansing to wipe away any previous enchantment, but enough to serve as a refresh or breath of fresh air. I tend to use bell chimes for this, but to each their own. It’s a completely optional step though.
Once the time’s up, using your finger, a paintbrush, or a wand, draw or write your chosen phrase or image onto the surface of the chosen object with the orange water. Take your time and say the resolution aloud as you write or draw.
When done, say the following:
"Enchanted now you are, Bespelled you will be, You'll keep me to my promise Of [your new year's resolution]. With my breath, I seal this spell And set myself my goal. One I will achieve, As long as this spell you hold."
Now take a deep breath and exhale it over the drawn surface.
That’s it! You’re done. Every time you touch the object, you should feel a pull to achieve your resolution. You can add a line to the verse to give yourself a punishment if you don’t achieve your resolution, but I don’t like to punish myself for not doing something, because life happens. You do you though.
You can wipe down the object later or clean it as normal. Just wait at least 20 minutes (in 2020) or at least 7 minutes (any other time) to do so.
Does that spell look great but don’t want to cast it yourself? Contact me and I can cast the spell for you. Details here.
We’re all busy, right? We’ve all got a ton of things on our minds and it gets to be so hard to keep track of stuff. It’s even harder to fit in spiritual practices and make time for witchcraft.
I recently experienced this myself. I took on a lot of projects for This Crooked Crown on top of some personal projects for my own practice. Then Life reared its head. Family needed medical procedures or were sick (everyone’s OK! No worries), birthdays kept on coming, and the upcoming spring’s always a busy time with the ongoing Secret Future Plan project we’ve got going. Plus there’s the regular stuff to do too – readings, writing posts, taking photos, answering questions, and so on. There’s just a lot of stuff happening. I couldn’t keep up. It happens. Who’s got energy to cast a spell when you’ve been go-go-go all day?
I started going to bed with stress headaches and woke up with them too. That’s when I decided enough was enough and I was going to start managing my shit better. Here’s what I did.
01 Write down everything you’ve got going on
This is absolutely the number one thing I recommend. It really drives home how busy you are and lets you see what’s happening so you can start prioritizing better. You may even decide to put something on hold for a while until some other project or situation can be finalized before taking up the reins again.
I wrote down everything I was thinking, doing, and feeling. It included little stuff like a mobile game I super enjoy playing daily to big years long projects that move slowly but surely. I also included stuff like stress about politics, birthdays, and personal worries or frustrations.
Then I numbered them three times. The first time, I numbered how important they were to me. This is kind of eye opening. You’ll really begin to see what’s important to you right now. Then I numbered them according to due dates – what needs to be done when – so bills or shop orders. The final time, I numbered them in order of priority to me or others I actually care about – a friend’s birthday, for example, might be more important to me than some due date for a thing I don’t really want to do.
Now do a comparison of the numbers. You can get as mathy as you’d like with this and figure out averages or whatever. I kind of just looked for similar numbers. If I listed a lack of spiritual connectivity as personal importance to as five but on the priority/due dates they were eleven or twelve, then that’s an area I need to focus on temporarily to feel personally satisfied but not dive into a major project for. So I might do a longer meditation session to help balance that out and get some more immediate results.
Make sure you look at how important stuff is to you and how you rate it as a priority. It might be that you’re ignoring your health or self-care in order to get shit done. it could also be that you want to accomplish something because you’re excited about it but it’s not actually all that important. Could your attention and energy be spent elsewhere or do you want to follow that excitement and allocate whatever time and energy you have left after you do that?
Also look at what numbers keep coming up or coincide with those items, especially if you’re into numerology. See if there’s a correlation with your divination readings in what cards keep coming up or if there’s some numerical importance attached to those numbers. Look at numbers that have huge discrepancies – or items you forgot to number. Those things may need some attention.
Now go through that list one last time and number how you want to proceed, taking in all that data. Using those numbers, write out a to do list with at least one actionable step you can take to start on that immediately. So if a birthday is your number one concern, write something like “research birthday gift” or “go out on Tuesday and buy present”.
It’s kind of a pain but this process can be really eye opening, especially if you remember to include things that aren’t just your daily to do or mundane but spiritual stuff as well. Maybe replacing that broken altar bowl doesn’t seem important but it might be weighing on your mind more than you know.
How to make this magic: Honestly, this technique is pretty eye-opening. I would use magical ink or paper or a language to write the list one last time in order of how you want to proceed, like a to do list, to ensure that you can accomplish what you want to accomplish.
02 Turned off the electronics early
I’ll be honest. I’m definitely one of those “turn off tablet/phone/computer/TV, roll over, go to sleep” kind of people. I don’t necessarily want to be. In a dream world and life, I wouldn’t even have a TV or computer in my bedroom. But since this isn’t a dream world, I have a ton of electronics in my sleeping area. And it’s a bummer.
Once I started going to bed with stress headaches – and waking up with them, I immediately stopped using electronics actively before going to sleep. Instead, I turned everything off but my tablet and read an fiction-based e-book until I found a physical book I wanted to read. I still woke up with stress headaches but I felt immediately less stressed and slept better.
There’s some scientific data to back this up but I know personally that turning my brain off from TV and instead letting my brain imagine stories before going to bed is better for me personally. Also look into blue light filters. I noticed my eyes hurt far less when I use blue light filters at nighttime.
It’s hard, I know. But give turning off your electronics ten minutes before you go to sleep a try.
How to make this magic: Putting sigils on your phone case for energy boosting is a great idea during the day to give both you and the phone a helping hand. Removing that phone from your hand at night allows you to have less energy and, thus, sleep much easier.
Aroma stimulation may also be useful. For example, I know it’s “no electronics time” and/or bedtime when I use lavender scented products. For me, lavender is used for quiet time. You might have a different scent that triggers this so do a little research to figure your own “shut off” scent.
03 Changed your rooms’ atmosphere and energy
Our rooms have their own atmospheres and energy. Right now, I’ve stacks and stacks of books everywhere for research projects. It reminds me of my college days where I was super stressed and sick all the time. Once I identified that as a contributing factor, I swapped out some things to shift the room’s energy – and my associations – to something else.
I picked fire, wind, and light as an energy to focus on. I used citrus scents, made sure to work in brightly lite rooms, and put on wind and bell soundscapes. My stressful associations shifted away and I felt far more productive and accomplished.
I also changed out my bedding, picked up lightly about the room, and rotated some decorative pillows and throw blankets to give a subtle change. I also throw open a window for a little while to air the place out.
As a bonus, changing up the lighting, scents, and sounds can immediately affect your mood.
How to make this magic: Color symbolism helps here, but so do scents and so on. Magical correspondences are your friend here. Ringing a bell can also dissipate clustered energies.
04 Dressed to boost your mood
Ten years ago, I scoffed at wearing sweats and casual tees on a daily basis. Now it’s my go-to when I’m in a time crunch and spending the day typing on a computer.
It makes sense. Ten years ago I was super active and busy – places to go, things to do, out before the sun rises and home at the witching hour. So I had to dress appropriately for those things. Since I work from home and my only co-worker is a cat, wearing sweats and a worn tee isn’t going to make a difference in what I do.
Except it kind of does. I started to put on non-lounge clothes in the mornings. It helped, most of the time, and kept me from glancing longingly at my video game consoles. Did it make me more productive? I don’t think so, but I felt more productive and put together. I felt more of a person and less like a cat pretending to be a person, so it has to count for something.
How to make this magic: Color symbolism and recognizing what outfits make you feel good about yourself is a huge bonus here so keep an eye on that. You can also individually enchant your clothing or other items for magical boosts as well.
05 Started work before you’re actually awake
The first thing I usually do in the morning depends on whether or not I woke up with or without an alarm. If I work up with an alarm, the first thing I’m doing is turning off that alarm on my phone which inevitably means I’ll check my notifications. If I woke up without an alarm, I’ll meditation for a few minutes, do some light yoga, and grab some breakfast.
But when I’m in a crunch, the first thing I do is crawl over to my desk and start typing. Usually, this happens when I have a reading queue a mile long and a post needing to be published in three hours. If I start working the moment I’m conscious but not yet awake, then I’m less likely to get distracted before half finishing whatever I needed to do.
When I do get distracted, I’m way more likely to want to finish whatever I was doing because, well, it’s probably almost done anyway.
Don’t get me wrong – this is a terrible thing to do routinely to yourself. It may start you associating work with lack of sleep (even if it’s true) and get you thinking bitter, dark thoughts against your work. It also doesn’t guarantee good work, especially with less intuitive projects. Remember to edit and review before you hit that send button if you work in this state. A metaphor that made sense at five a.m. might not make sense at eleven a.m.
How to make this magic: Cast a magnetic-style charm to one of your desk items, like your computer mouse or a sticker on your laptop. This allows you to feel “drawn” to use an item, even subconsciously.
06 White noise generators or instrumental music
I love white noise generators. I use them ALL. THE. TIME. Literally, all the time.
White noise is a great way to get your brain to productive mode without dealing with silence or hearing too much conversation and becoming distracted. I found that if I changed out what kind of sounds I listened to, I could get shit down. When I want to work, I put on video game instrumental soundtracks (no joke! Try the Skyrim soundtrack next time you’re knocking out a boring typing project).
White noise is not a one-size fits all kind of thing. Once you get into it you realize different people find different white noise better than others. For example “brown noise” rather than “white noise” is more comforting to me – think thunder rolling over the roaring ocean rather than rain. So if you’ve tried white noise generators before, try it again but try different tones and pitches to see what works best for you.
I highly recommend the free website mynoise.net. I’m not an affiliate of the website. I just really, really love it. I also use a playlist on Spotify (I have a premium membership I share with other folks so no ads) and the app Insight Timer which is a meditation app with a community who offer white noise meditation tracks for free.
How to make this magic: Use the sounds to your advantage. I’m spiritually attached to the ocean and water in general. So my go-to sounds are all water based. If you’re attracted to the wind, they have generators and soundscapes like that too. Fire? Done. Earth? Yup, that can be handled too (forest sounds, cave sounds, farmland sounds, etc). More urban? Crowded cafe sounds are really popular. Use what makes you feel rooted and at home.
When I was younger, I never meditated. It just wasn’t me and not something I wanted or needed to do. I knew what I wanted to do and I usually had a schedule of things to do in my head. As an adult, I have a ton of stuff going on too but now I’m often pulled in so many directions I can fail to prioritize what’s actually important to me. Meditation helps me ease that.
Meditation is also my go to when I have a super long to do list and I want to figure out what I actually want to do that day. My to do list might be twenty items long but meditation gives me a moment to breath and think “OK. What’s actually important here? What can I do now for others, now that I’ve done something for myself?”
Guided meditation can be really helpful for folks who have brains that don’t like to shut up or want to achieve a particular goal. Others may do better with simple quiet meditation. It’s a personal taste sort of thing. Even a few minutes helps.
How to make this magic: Meditation is often used in magical practices but there’s a lot of guided meditations out there that can be used to achieve particular goals or help you release a lot of negative emotions. Try out some and see what proves to be helpful to you.
So that’s what I did to get my to do list down to a minimal amount. They’re simple techniques, to be sure, and you’ve probably heard them all before. That’s kind of the point. They’re stuff you’ve heard before because they work. Don’t knock them until you try them.
I know January was really hard for a lot of people. I saw a lot of people struggling with some drama and nonsense during all of that time. It can be really difficult to dig yourself out of a hole spiritually in order to really get back on track so early on in the year. Just remember that each day is a chance to start fresh. Each month is a new beginning. You can always start again. Don’t give up and remember to give yourself a chance to breathe!
Welcome to 2018! How are you spending your first day of the new year?
I always spend my first week of the new year doing exactly what I want the rest of my year to be like. So the last days of the year are flurries to try and get stuff like laundry out of the way so I don’t have to do it often during the first week of the new year. Instead, I’ll spend time with my family, write, divine, visit spirits, and talk to friends. I’ll play video games, bake and cook, and work out. I make it a point to do the things I love and want to do more of during this time.
I have several goals for the new year, some of them more personal like baking and cooking more a week to more grand things like launching a witchcraft 101 course or publishing another novel.
Yeah, you read that right. A witchcraft 101 course and another novel. More on both of those at a later date.
Anyway, I’m not big on resolutions so I’ve started to pick words or themes to define my new year. For 2018, I’ve selected Empowerment. I don’t want opportunities handed to me, I want them to be forged. I want others to feel powerful and strong too. This is something I want to share with the world.
Empowerment also is a great word for witches because it indicates using magic to create our own future with our own hands. I want to do that with 2018. I want to make it my year because I have the power to do so.
If you want to make it your year, here’s a selection of spells you can use to do just that:
Won a Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo (meaning I wrote two books)
New eyeglasses & met some fitness goals
Got a new monitor and hard drive for the shop
Renovated my mom’s kitchen
Had some really great spells, crafts, and baking results.
Read so many books.
Absolutely terrible year socially and politically in my part of the world. (Elsewhere wasn’t haven’t a fantastic time either)
Broke my schedule for posting online
Had to push back a major thing for the third time.
Wasn’t able to put out a few projects I wanted to complete.
So it’s actually been a pretty good year on the surface for me but there’s a lot of back end stuff that didn’t happen. That being said, I expect that 2018 will be far better as several projects are coming to fruition there.
Before you go, here’s some last minute witchy ideas to ring in the new year:
Use a sugar or salt scrub to “wash away” the old year and enter the new year with “fresh skin”.
Wear a color that represents what you want the new year to be like tonight. Wear sexy red pajamas to bring more sex or romance into your life. Wear black and blue to protect yourself or green and gold for wealth and prosperity.
Make the first meal you have in 2018 something that you want to eat all year. So if you plan on hitting the gym, snag a celery stick instead of a chip for that first bite.
Stir your drinks towards you to bring things towards you after midnight but stir away from you before midnight to send things away.
Spend the first day of the new year how you want to spend the rest of the year, if you can.
Set up full moon rituals in advance, rolling them together so each full moon has a little of that newness power to it. The first is also the first full moon of 2018.
No special someone to kiss in the new year? Place that first kiss on a pet, platonic consenting friend, or on an idol for your deity or spirits.
Ring a bell at midnight to dismiss the old year (and all its negativity) and bless the new year.
I’ve been having a hard time keeping up posts these last few months. Ideas weren’t flowing and it became a chore to write. June was a busy month for me on a personal level so pretty much only Spell Saturdays happened. Towards the middle of the month I kind of just say “fuck it” and took the month off. I’m so much happier for it and I’m ready to really get back to posting, writing, and working on projects.
Burn out. It’s not fun.
On a personal front, it’s been a very “everything is happening/nothing is happening” kind of phase. My novel Spirit Walker was suppose to be out last month but stuff happened so it’s coming out later this month. A project I thought wasn’t going to take place until next year might happen this year. A few other projects have the same thing happening. It’s a lot of “hey, this stuff is happening but we can’t, you know SHOW you it”. Ugh.
Anyway, here’s five things I’m totally obsessing over right now.
01 Fairy tales with actual faeries
I recently finished my re-read of Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series. I’m a sucker for stories. Anyway, that and a recent flux of faerie related posts has been reading lots of articles and stories about faeries. And listening to faerie stories told in songs. And playing video games with faeries.
(Sensing a theme yet?)
I son’t particularly have a favorite kind of faerie story. I like the stories of Wild Hunts because I’ve experience one before. (That’s a story for another day) but I like stories that have a good tale to tell and ends with a satisfying end. Not necessarily a happy ending, mind, but a satisfying one.
While the classics are always good to brush back up on (I’m currently reading Phillip Pullman’s Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm) but there’s some truly excellent faerie-based stories out there. Which one is your favorite?
02 Baking Bread
I like baking. Cooking, not so much but baking? Sure. I like making tasty foods and trying out recipes simply for the challenge of it. (Which is weird but I’m not one for competition or challenges as a whole). Baking, to me, is fun and I get to nom on a hopefully delicious end product.
Except bread. Breads, for some reason, escape me 90% of the time. I can make a decent scone and drop biscuits. I can do a dense banana bread fairly well. Other than that? Nope. Failure is a constant companion. I just can’t seem to get a bread that tastes good or isn’t rock hard. I’m pretty sure I’ve baked some bread that were actually stones in disguise. I like to think I’m a decent baker. I can do some desserts pretty well but bread and I aren’t friends.
So I recently borrowed some bread recipe books from my library and made it my mission to create a good bread. I haven’t really dug into the books yet (other stuff is going on) but here’s hoping I can create something edible!
I really like the folklore of selkies. I mean, I like mermaids but I really like selkies. If I had the option to become a mermaid, I’d probably ask to just be a selkie instead.
Their stories remind me of fox spirit stories (which I also adore). I especially like the stories where there’s a happy or at least bittersweet ending. The Maiden and the Selkie by Heather Dale is probably one of my favorites because there’s a lot of lore and ideas packed into that singular song.
Right now I’m currently writing two stories with selkies or water based faerie-like creatures so my interest may be ramped up from that that. But selkies are always an interest for me so who knows?
I’m a fan of honey. I like honey. I like the taste of it, the color of it, the smell of it. I keep several honey types from various sources around my house. I keep a huge jar on my counter because I just like looking at it.
Recently, I’ve started to swap sugar out for honey for some of my baking. And making honey based pastilles for herbal remedies. I’ve done this before but I don’t use a ton of herbal remedies for myself and there’s some recipes I use that don’t take substitutes well. (Like my chocolate chip cookies).
I don’t use honey much in magic as it’s a “wet” ingredient and I don’t typically work with wet ingredients unless I’m enchanting food or making a potion. While I like doing both of those things, I don’t tend to dive into that realm often. Or, maybe’s it’s better to say that I don’t tend to deviate often from regularly created food or potions that I don’t share. Not because I can’t come up with something better but more because why fix what isn’t broken?
Honey’s often loved faerie and spirit offering. I’ve given it myself during the summer when I can’t give milk-based offerings. Also, while writing this post a random thought occurred to me: mermaids and most selkies probably haven’t tasted honey before. That’s a shame and gives me a really cute idea for a scene.
I like boats. I’m not in love with them but I like them. I grew up looking at model replicas of tall ships, paintings of sea storms, and through elementary school I use to stare at my grandmother’s hand-carved wooden ship mast that hung on one of our walls.
Weird part is? None of my family owns a boat. We have family friends that do but save for our kayaks, there isn’t a single boat among any of us. I’ve worked on boats which I thoroughly enjoyed. My mother has plans to buy a small sailboat sometime in the next ten years so that’s something to look forward to.
Since much of my witchcraft is based in New England lore and water, especially, boats come up often with my research so I often practice my boat magic on our kayaks. Much of it is upkeep of boats, making sure the hulls don’t rot and so on. But there’s so much on a boat that can be enchanted. Sails, motors, ropes, and even the deck floor to make it less slippery. (Which is so important, depending on the type of boat you have.)
Do any of you have must-have spells for boats or working on the water?
It’s been kind of low-key for me right now when it comes to things I adore but right now there’s a lot in the works. What about you folks? What things have you been interested in? What kind of articles and books have you been reading? What kind of research or posts do you wish you had access to?
Oh, before you go! I promised a poll. I’m creating a rather extensive correspondence chart for the website, with information gathered from all over, with cited sources. How would you best like to see it? You have until the 14th to vote!
Life has been kicking my ass. Last month (and the month before that) was filled with stuttering posts due to a variety of reasons. Long story short: Life got in the way of… life? Weird sentence is weird.
Anyway, here’s five things I’m totally in love with right now.
I mean, I love flowers any day of the week but right now I am constantly staring at my flowering trees and blooming garden. Right now I’m very lucky because I have two cherry trees in my front yard – the Yoshino white and the Kwanzan pink. The Kwanzan always flowers after the Yoshino (and lasts at least two weeks longer???) but there’s this sweet spot where both still have flowers and everything is awesome forever.
I always love cherry blossoms so I’m super happy at this time to just stare at them all the time. Like, all the time.
Also, little known fact, for my 21st birthday I asked for a cat and a cherry tree. I got Kiki and my Yoshino tree. One of my better birthday requests, to be honest.
I’m not actually all that well-read when it comes to aromatherapy. I mean, I could probably blab about it for an an hour or more but a lot of that comes from my herbal knowledge rather than aromatherapy knowledge.
A couple of weeks ago I scored an aromatherapy mister for a song and have been using it nightly. It’s really been helping me sleep when I’m suppose to be asleep and even helped clear up my lungs a bit (which is good because they’re kind of rubbish after an infection years ago).
I’m looking forward to diving into more research on aromatherapy in the coming days. Yay for new stuff to read about!
This is a weird one. I do a lot of baking but not a lot of cooking. However, last week my mother went away and that meant that I could use my brother as a taste tester without feeling guilty that I was making something my mother didn’t want to eat.
So far, every recipe I tried came out a complete success. Most of the recipes I tried came from the World of Warcraft Cookbook but I also tried my hand at making stuff that I love but no one in my house has ever tasted before (like curry!). It was fun and encouraging. I guess I’ll be stepping outside of my normal baking and trying to make something more than cupcakes or cookies more often.
I don’t talk about my exercise regiment very much because I’m either all for it or being a slacker. (I’m not super consistent and that’s something I’m trying to work on). Anyway, the other day I accomplished a backbend that I haven’t been able to do in years.
Actually, let me rephrase that. I’ve always been able to do a wheel style backbend with some warm up but I use to be flexible enough to do a wheel backbend without any warm up at all. (I’m naturally that flexible in that direction) but years of computer sitting and driving without consistent practice made that go away. I know I can recapture that original flexibility if I keep working on it.
Also, don’t be me. Warm up before you try complicated physical moves. I’m a bad example of what to do with your body. Seriously. Don’t be me.
May Day is a thing for me. But it’s a weird thing. Many pagans and practitioners practice May Day or Beltaine celebrations. Mine are far more low-key and not based on the Wheel of the Year. I think I celebrate May Day because the first of May is when you can finally start seeing a lot of flowers blooming and it really starts to feel like spring in my area.
I’ll spend much of this May Day cooking, put out some offerings, and put away some winter clothes and blankets. Simple things but they make a difference on an individual and household level.
I hope when I get enough land sometime in the future that I can set up a May Day pole. That’s a “someday” goal I have.
We made it to the other side of March. Yay! This month has been truly insanely busy for me between medical appointments (everyone’s OK, no worries!), caring for sick people, chasing after paperwork, birthdays, funerals, and a small snowstorm. I signed up for a bunch of stuff that I’m now scrambling to complete because I can see the end of March and those deadlines are looming.
When it comes to the blog, I unintentionally took the first week of March off. I needed the rest but I truly dislike leaving everyone without content to enjoy. I’ll try not to let that happen again. The posts that did make it were more on the spiritual side of things.
Tumblr followers know I identify as a secular witch and this month tackled how I define and work within my paradigm to some degree. Secular Witchcraft Defined proved to be an interesting read and one I hope will help out new witchlings in understanding this newer form of witchcraft. To counter this, I talked about my current focus of Getting Back to My Roots on a spiritual level. I even offered an Awakening Spring Ritual for some ideas on how my witchcraft and spirituality are separated. For those thinking about working with spirits, which is a bridge between my witchcraft and my spirituality for me, How to Know What Spirit You’re Talking To might offer some insight for you. If you’re looking to see those beings, check out Enchanting Objects for Second Sight for a helping hand.
Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere although the snow storm and cold snap recently sure doesn’t feel like spring here in Rhode Island. If you’re trying to counter the final winter push, try the spell Burn Away the Winter Blues. If you need a push to get over that winter lethargy, give the Forged in Fire spell a look. It’s mean to kick procrastination in the ass and celebrated fifty Spell Saturdays. (There, uh, should be more but let’s celebrate our victories and not failures, OK?)
We also saw the Curse and Blessing of the Sun which is a spell that can be a curse or a blessing, depending on your intent. My brother the Necromancer has really been into the Sun as a being of worship recently so I’ve been inspired to create a shrine for him and some spells. By the way, the Curse and Blessing of the Sun has been updated. I originally said that you should create two boxes if you want a curse and a blessing at the same time but I don’t know what I was thinking. Clever wording can create both in one box so check out that spell for new tips.
I don’t really work healing spells too much so I rarely post them but the Sand Healing Spell is specifically designed for those with chronic illnesses that spend a lot of time in one place. It’s a jar spell and one that’s very low key. It’s not designed to heal you but rather focus on alleviating pain and symptoms. I hope it helps!
On a more practical and mundane front, I wrote a guide on Where to Buy A Tarot Deck which is a question often asked to me and others on social media. We also saw two reviews this month, one on the beautiful Scrying Ink Lenormand deck by Siolo Thompson, the creator of the Linestrider Tarot. There was also the book view for The Soul Searcher’s Handbook by Emma Mildon which scored a 4.5 out of 5. I love both of these things so I’m really happy to recommend them to you all. Speaking of things I loved I started a new mini series I’ve nicknamed “Obsession” which dives into what I’m currently working on or obsessed with right now. I hope this gives a fun insight into the everyday workings around here.
Heart from Scrying Ink by Siolo Thompson and Nourish the Sacred Feminine from Sacred Creators by Chris-Anne Donnelly | thiscrookedcrown.com
Other quick news for This Crooked Crown:
I recently changed up my newsletter to come out twice a month – once at the full moon and again at the new moon.The newsletters are smaller but contain mini divination readings for the current moon phase which is always fun.
Flying Salves arrived in the shop at the end of February and quickly sold out. I hope to have them in again by the end of May, if not sooner.
We reached out first goal over on Patreon. I’m always, always floored by the support I receive from everyone and cannot thank you all enough.
I received the absolutely amazing Idiosyncradeck Tarot and the Amethyst Oracle from Jessica Bott who is probably better known as Cracked Amethyst. I’m absolutely in love with them both and can’t wait to do more readings with them.
So that’s what was up this month at This Crooked Crown. It was super busy in a way I wasn’t expecting but I’m thinking I’ve made the most of it. What were your favorite posts? What do you want to see more of? Planning on trying any of the spells? See you in April!